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Hooking your hybrid too much? Here’s why the shaft could be the problem

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So, I have this recurring nightmare; I smoke one down the par 5 18th hole at my home course. Get to the ball and laser; 222 front, 227 pin. Perfect hybrid distance. I pull off the head cover, do my pre-shot routine and the ball takes off relatively straight. Then, it starts to curve left. Then it’s not just a curve, but a huge hook… and then SPLASH! In the pond short left.

Fed up with this dream, which is all-too-realistic based on my real game, I finally sought out answers while at a recent PGA Tour event. “Hey Kim! How are you sir?” I said.

“Brendan, how are you sir?” responded Kim Braly, my buddy and Director of R&D and Tour Operations at KBS Shafts.

“Well, not very good. As you know I love to play golf but have been struggling with my hybrid; I just seem to have the problem of duck hooking it at the worst times. Drives me crazy!” I responded.

“Look, next week at the Tour stop, why don’t you come spend time with me. It will be great to catch up and I think I might be able to help give you some insight into your problem” said Kim.

Day in the Tour Van? No snap hooks? Sold.

Arriving early, I was greeted at the Tour Van by Kim Braly and John Weber of KBS. “Welcome! Welcome, Brendan! Great to see you,” said Kim as I made my way up the stairs and entered the van. As we shook hands and greeted everyone, I handed Kim my hybrid for his thoughts and inspection. He quickly set it aside and said, “Brendan, what you have is a widespread problem with graphite because of the process of making the shaft. Unlike steel, which is a consistent material and easy to work with, graphite is complex. Graphite shafts are made through a process, which usually involves two or three sheets being cut and then woven together electronically to fit manufactures specifications. Although we have consistently gotten better at the process, graphite has limitations and it is very hard to make it stiff, light and consistent.”

I nodded and stopped, “Why is it so hard?” I questioned.

“When working with steel, you have almost perfect consistency and durability but have few options with weight (that’s why the lightest steel shafts are approximately 95 grams). With graphite you have greater problems with consistency; people want lighter, but it becomes hard to make stiff. As a result, many graphite hybrid shafts have large windows of frequency and they tend to be weak or soft. The result? Often that miss left you are struggling with!” explained Kim.

“So, does that mean that I need to change to steel? I will do anything to stop those quakers!” I responded.

“No. Most graphite companies are used to making wood shafts, not iron shafts. We have a ton of data to understand what players need in a hybrid shaft,” said Kim as he picked up my hybrid and walked towards the work bench. “The shaft we are going to test is our KBS Tour Hybrid Proto. It has very close to the same stiffness profile as our KBS Tour, which is what you play in your irons.”

“Oh, awesome! I love my iron shafts and honestly a lot of times I choose to hit 4-iron instead of my hybrid because I have a lot more confidence it will not go left!” I responded.

With meticulous precision, Kim worked on my hybrid. First, he applied heat and removed the head. He then cleaned the inside of the head and started the process of re-shafting the club. “We are going to ‘Pure’ this hybrid shaft, using this machine,” said Kim as he took the shaft and inserted it into one of the space-aged looking contraptions on the Van. He hit a button, the shaft spun and done. “That machine helped us to understand where the shaft should be placed to optimize performance. Now we need to get a ferrule, glue the club and have you pick a grip” he said as he opened Pandora’s box of grips.

My eyes went wide, and I started to look through the grips, finally settling on one, “how about this?” I said as I handed it to Kim.

“Perfect,” he said. “Let me put it on and we will be ready.” After about 15 minutes of letting everything dry, Kim presented me with my new weapon; it was beautiful! I thanked him and took off to the car, excited to test the club at my local club.

As I got into the car, I called my best friend Julian: “Bro, can you get an emergency 9 in? I just got a new KBS Proto shaft in my hybrid and I am feeling muy confident!”

“KBS Proto! Whaaaa? That’s a killer shaft. Phil Mickelson used one this year when he won. I’ve wanted one soooooo bad. Ya, I’m on the putting green. Let’s play!” responded Julian.

Of course, we headed off the back and on the 18th hole I smoked one leaving 216 yards to the pin. It was the moment of truth; hybrid time. Pulled the club, went through my routine and SMASH. “Pure!” said Julian as I smiled and watched the ball sail straight towards the green.

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Brendan is the owner of Golf Placement Services, a boutique business which aims to apply his background in golf and higher education to help educate players, their families and coaches about the process! Website - www.golfplacementservices.com Insta - golf.placement.sevices Twitter @BMRGolf

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Pooter

    Aug 29, 2018 at 2:03 am

    We are all dumber for having read this. I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul.

  2. Nathan

    Aug 2, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Why not just get your Driver shaft pured with a new KBS Tour Shaft? That way, you’ll hit it 30 yards further, leaving yourself only 190 in to the flag, where you can stiff your 6 iron (with KBS shaft)? Seems like a much better solution to me.

  3. Poot

    Aug 2, 2018 at 2:16 am

    This is why KBS is overrated, and I will never use their shafts as they all feel like cr!p

  4. JARED BRANT

    Aug 2, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Hate to say that I actually feel dumber now that I read and reread this article multiple times. I thought I missed a paragraph that may have explained something about the loft, grip size, stiffness, length or anything that would cause the ball to go left. I think it ultimately just said that I should buy a shaft made of “Pure Steel”?!

  5. Offcho

    Aug 1, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    This might be the worst article/click bait ever on GolfWRX. I want my wasted time back reading this garbage.

  6. woof

    Aug 1, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    lol look at all the true temper kids getting mad online

  7. Ron Swanson

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    This story is awful, misleading and the statements being made by Kim Braly are embarrassing for someone in the golf industry whose business is shafts. Also, he knocks graphite, but yet their “proto” shaft is made of graphite, a material they have NO expertise in? First of all, his statements about graphite are grossly untrue. And also, if graphite is so inconsistent then why is it used in driver shafts for players with swing speeds upwards of 125 mph? Hybrids go left because they are almost always too upright from the factory, period. It aint the shaft. This article should be deleted as it is reciting false quotes and misleading your readers. This is embarrassing for GolfWRX to have on their website.

  8. Pete O'Tube

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Dreadful, overexcited journalism.

  9. PT

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    What hybrid are you using? What loft?
    Terrible advertorial for KBS, this.

  10. JD

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I sure hope KBS didn’t pay very much for this article.

  11. stevez

    Aug 1, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    most hybrids are 1.5″ longer than the similar # iron, think Wishon has said the hybrid length should be similar to iron.

  12. DB

    Aug 1, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Interesting info, just don’t know why you wrote the article as if your audience was 13 year-old girls.

  13. Max

    Aug 1, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Hooking hybrids off the planet? Here are some reasons:
    -ball too far forward in stance
    -standing too far away from the ball, promoting an in to out path
    -club is too upright
    -club is too light
    -club is draw biased
    -stock shaft is a wet noodle piece of garbage

    • larrybud

      Aug 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Bingo on all fronts. My main issue is too upright. I play 3 flat irons, and with the 3/4 hybrid they don’t get too hooky, but with the 5 the face is aiming left unless I open it up a bit.

  14. David

    Aug 1, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Light, weak, high-torque shafts in hybrids (especially higher lofted hybrids) are what pretty much all OEM’s install in their hybrids. They want the ball to go “high and far” with hybrids. It’s a recipe for disaster.

    You want to hit your hybrids rock-solid? Get heavier, stiffer shafts in your hybrids than the OEM wants to put in them and you will be on your way to much, much better shots with your hybrids, and they will more faithfully replace the iron they are supposed to replace that way also. Just look out for lofts. a 23 degree hybrid is a 5-hybrid??? WTF?? You will hit that every bit as far (or farther) than a typical 4-iron.

    SMH at OEM’s….

  15. carl

    Aug 1, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Yep you hooked your hybrid cause the shaft wasnt pured. HaHaHa

    Also calling people ‘Bro’ after you get your new $200 KBS hybrid shaft is a must

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Equipment

Ben Hogan adds Ft. Worth “White” to iron lineup

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After the launch of Diamond Black Metal finish Ft. Worth “Black” irons earlier this year, Ben Hogan’s nickel-chrome Ft. Worth irons are back…sort of. The Texas-baed company today announced the launch of Ben Hogan Ft. Worth White irons.

Now with respect to the “White” designation, If you’re skeptical/confused, well, let’s just have a look at a comment on BH’s Instagram post announcing the iron launch and the company’s response…

jonmodica: “Very unclear the changes from previous model… also… white? It’s chrome…..”

Benhogangolf: ”@jonmodica More progressive specific to each club head, a more aggressive V-Sole pattern and the ‘white’ is opposite of the popular and newly designed Ft. Worth Black.”

There you have it, folks. “White” as in contrast to the Ft. Worth Black irons, and the Ft. Worth White is not merely a re-issue of original chrome Ft. Worth, according to the company.

With respect to the changes to the V-Sole system, the company said this in its marketing materials for the Ft. Worth Black.

“Feedback from strong players and robot testing indicated that the leading edge could be increased on certain irons, and trailing edge softened … especially with less-than-full shots in the shorter irons.”

“So, in our ongoing quest to design and manufacture the best clubs in golf, we’ve modified the V-Sole Technology used on the Ben Hogan Ft. Worth BLACK slightly. The sole maintains the same basic design principles as the original V-Sole but has been optimized for each iron in the set. In effect, we’ve strengthened the leading edge from the sole to the face on some of the Ft. Worth BLACK irons, while reducing the trailing edge bounce on others.”

Obviously, the company scrapped the PreciseLoft system introduced with the original Ft. Worth irons. That system offered four loft profiles, all with consistent four-degree gaps. After finding the vast majority of players preferred the “mid-high” launch profile, the company did away with the others…and returned to tradition iron number (rather than loft) stamping on the toe.

The aforementioned lofts in the 4-PW set range from 22 degrees to 46 degrees.

“The Ft. Worth White Irons are illustrative of how Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company interacts with and listens to its customers,” said Scott White, President and CEO, Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company. “On the heels of our sales success with the Ft. Worth Black Irons, we found many ‘traditionalists’ who wanted to play this iron design with the standard nickel-chrome finish, so we accommodated them with this launch.”

Ft. Worth White irons are available for purchase on the Ben Hogan website exclusively for $700.00 per seven-piece set (4-PW).

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Equipment

Ping’s new Sigma2 putters are length-adjustable, and one of them “fetches” the ball from the hole

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We recently spotted photos of Ping’s new Sigma2 putter line in our GolfWRX forums, but what we didn’t know at the time was that there is an adjustable-length system built into their Pistol grips.

The USGA conforming, length-adjustable feature allows golfers to change lengths between 32 and 36 inches in approximately 0.25-inch increments with a turn of the small Ping wrench that fits into the butt end of the grips.

“The adjustable shaft is just a really cool technology,” said John K. Solheim, Ping President. “Our engineers took a very complex technical challenge and simplified it for the benefit of golfers. It allows you to experiment with various lengths and ultimately self-fit yourself. You’re no longer limited to a specific length measurement. You simply adjust it until you’re comfortable, ideally with your eyes directly over the ball. We call it ‘invisible’ technology but once you customize it to your length, the results will be very clear on your scorecard.”

Also, we’ve since learned that the Sigma2 Fetch putter head fits into a standard size golf hole, and the design allows golfers to simply place the bottom of the putter head into the hole to pick the golf ball out without bending over.

Each of the 9 new head models in the Sigma2 line have a new face technology as well, made to be softer and more responsive than the Sigma G putter faces. The “dual-durometer” face inserts, which are made of PEBAX material, have a softer outer layer, and a firmer inner layer, designed for greater player feedback, according to Ping.

Additionally, Ping’s familiar TR face design pattern alters in depth across the face to speed up mishits — the goal being to have greater speed consistency regardless of where the golfer strikes the ball on the face.

The Sigma2 putters, which are now available for pre-order at Ping golf shops around the world, are offered with either the PP60 (midsize and lightweight), the PP61 (inspired by the PP58), or the PP62 (larger, more rounded shape) grip, which are each equipped with the length-adjustable system.

Read below for full specs of each putter, as per Ping’s press release.

See more photos and discussion about the Sigma2 putters here.

Ping Sigma2 Anser

Putter Type: Blade
Finish: Platinum or Stealth
Head Weight: 350 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/- 2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 ZB 2

Putter Type: Blade
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 350 grams
Stroke Type: Strong Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Kushin C

Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 360 grams
Stroke Type: Straight
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Arna

Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 360 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Tyne

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Tyne 4

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 370 grams
Stroke Type: Strong Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Wolverine H

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 370 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Valor

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Fetch

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Type: Straight
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Ping Sigma2 putters.

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Whats in the Bag

Marc Leishman’s Winning WITB: 2018 CIMB Classic

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution IV X-Flex

Fairway Woods: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (15 and 18 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura Motore Speeder Tour Spec VC 9.2X

Irons: Callaway X-Forged 2018 (3-9 irons)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 130X

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (48 and 54 degrees), Titleist Vokey SM7 (58 degrees)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 130X

Putter: Odyssey Versa #1 Wide (Red)

Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Leishman’s clubs.

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